Travis - Ode To J Smith (3 stars)

Travis - Ode To J Smith

(Red Telephone Box)


This, Travis’ fifth studio album, is both their finest since 1999’s The Man Who and just, y’know, alright. The fact is, after making a glistening splash with Good Feeling and then predictably repeating the winning formula hit on with The Man Who a couple more times in the last decade, none but those who see their name as a dependable brand will be expecting very much these days.

So ‘Chinese Blues’ opening with a guitar riff which echoes ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and then nods to glam rock and Pink Floyd on ‘Long Way Down’ and ‘Broken Mirrors’, respectively, will wrong-foot many. Yet such a notably jolly band may not find it so easy to segue into the Ray Davies or Damon Albarn school of everyman blues.

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